Two of our favourite Tuscan destinations lie just 10 miles apart in the north-western part of this beautiful region. As well as being close to two historic, and very different, small cities, our Pisa and Lucca villas are convenient for Tuscany’s main airport, the beaches of the Versilia Riviera, the hill-towns of central and northern Tuscany, the olive groves of the Monte Pisano, an Apennine mountain wilderness, and much more.
Plus there’s no need to limit your choice to just Pisa or Lucca when you get here. You can (and definitely should) visit both during your stay in one of our villas near Pisa and Lucca.
At Tuscany Now & More we take pride in our service. We have 30 years’ experience matching every guest to the right villa. Someone from our small team visits or stays in every Pisa and Lucca villa we list and knows the area. This is why we keep our portfolio small — and probably why the world’s leading luxury travel magazine says we’re Tuscany’s best villa company.
Every Tuscany Now & More villa has a private swimming pool, free use of our concierge service, for pre-trip arrangements and an emergency number available 24/7 while you are in-destination. Your concierge can arrange a private chef, daily maid service, or shopping delivered to your villa, and memorable experiences like Tuscan cookery classes in your holiday rental’s kitchen.
Our villas near Pisa and Lucca have from two to 12 bedrooms. In all except one, these are air-conditioned bedrooms — which you’ll appreciate in the warm Tuscan summer.
To see what real travellers think of our service, and the experience of staying in a Tuscany Now & More luxury villa, read our verified reviews.
A building spree in the 12th-century created Pisa’s unique legacy. On the edge of its compact, flat centre is a grassy field that’s Italy’s most extraordinary piazza: the Campo dei Miracoli, “Field of Miracles”.
Here you will find the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, and more. There is a vast Romanesque Cathedral and a Baptistery with one of Italy’s finest Gothic sculptures. Away from the Campo, Pisa is a genuine, locals’ city, with plenty of life thanks to students at one of Italy’s oldest universities.
You only need roam around the centre of Lucca to catch its very different vibe. Smaller and more genteel, the home city of composer Puccini has some of Tuscany’s most elegant shopping streets. Many understated museums house anything from Etruscan archaeology to baroque painting.
Lucca is compact and flat enough to walk pretty much everywhere. It’s a good base for cycling in Tuscany. And right on the doorstep lie two of Tuscany’s great wilderness areas, the Garfagnana and Apuan Alps.
Do not leave town without climbing the Leaning Tower. It’s a disorienting half-hour; at times you will feel like you are walking downhill, even as you climb the steps to its summit terrace.
Right opposite, the Cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1595, but still houses the tomb of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII and “Galileo’s lamp”. The Pisan scientist dreamed up his laws of pendulum motion after watching it swing… or so the story goes. The city’s Baptistery was started in 1152. The building’s lower half has rounded arches typical of Romanesque architecture, before rising to the pinnacles and a dome that is typically Gothic. Inside is one of the great Tuscan Gothic sculptures, a pulpit by Nicola Pisano (1260).
For art lovers visiting Pisa, the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo houses everything from sculpture to medieval codices. Highlights include “St. Paul” by Florentine Renaissance artist Masaccio, the only part of his 1426 Pisa Altarpiece still in Pisa. At the Palazzo Blu, upstairs rooms display paintings by artists who worked in Pisa over the centuries. Kandinsky and Andy Warhol have been subjects of solo exhibitions in a modern art space downstairs. A mural by American painter Keith Haring, Tuttomondo (1989) features his trademark stylized figures and political allegory. It was one of Haring’s last works before he died in 1990.
Pisa’s Botanic Garden is an oasis of calm a couple of streets away from the Leaning Tower. Established in the 16th century, it is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens — and a lovely place to stroll for an hour, in any season.
Our Pisa villas offer easy daytrips from the doorstep. The Museo Piaggio, in Pontedera, is at the factory where the Vespa has been made since 1943. The company’s collection includes vintage Vespas you won’t see anywhere else. Nearby Calci is home to Italy’s biggest Carthusian monastery, the Certosa di Pisa. Most surviving building work is in elaborate baroque style, with decorative marble and stucco. Some of the best beaches along Tuscany’s coast are also close to our Pisa villas.
For more ideas about what to do in Pisa, read our Pisa travel guide.
Lucca was laid out by Romans; streets still form a grid, and the most impressive church, San Michele in Foro, stands on top of the old Forum (hence the name). You can explore the distant past below the church of Santi Giovanni e Reparata: an open excavated area has remains of a Paleochristian church, as well as ruins of a Roman bath house dating almost to Lucca’s founding in 180 BC.
Like in its traditional rival, Pisa, building here reached a peak of innovation in the Romanesque period, between the 11th and 12th centuries. The so-called “Luccan-Romanesque” style is characterized by tall, ornate arcades decorating a church façade. The most photographed in town is San Michele in Foro itself. Four stacked decks of turned and carved stone columns are crowned with a statue of St. Michael Archangel, wielding his avenging sword.
The Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi has an eclectic collection of treasures from Lucca. The oldest archaeological exhibits date from the Bronze Age, plus there’s booty from Etruscan tombs and sculptures by local artist Matteo Civitali (1436–1502).
To get a sense of the terrain around Lucca, you can climb the 45m/148-ft. Torre Guinigi. You will easily spot its summit, from which a clutch of holm oaks sprout.
There’s another fine panorama of Lucca from the saddle. The city’s defensive walls and bastions, built between 1520 and 1650, are now a public park and promenade. The Lucchese make good use of them: everyone from joggers and roller-bladers to strolling families takes the air up there. Bike rental places are close to all major town gates. An hour or two is all you need, even at a very slow pace with frequent photo stops.
For opera fans, the Villa Museo Puccini demands a pilgrimage. The composer of “La Bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly”, and “Turandot” lived in a relatively modest, colonial mansion beside Lake Massaciuccoli. The nearby resort of Viareggio has an Art Nouveau seafront lined with beach clubs.
You’ll find more ideas in our Lucca travel guide.
Until the River Arno silted up in medieval times, Pisa was a port. Its merchants travelled the Mediterranean and brought culinary ideas home with them. You will find squid and cuttlefish in peasant stews, and baccalà alla pisana (salt cod cooked with olives) is another traditional Pisan dish. As in North Africa ceci, or chickpeas (garbanzo beans), are a staple ingredient, including in cecina, a pizza-like flatbread made from chickpea flour and dusted with pepper or rosemary. The artichokes of nearby San Miniato (carciofi sanminiatesi) are another delicacy, as are its white truffles.
Traditional Lucchese cuisine has a strong flavour of the Apennine mountains, whose peaks line the northern horizon. Farro (a spelt wheat) is a mountain pulse found in many dishes, including soups and risotto-like carb courses. Lucca is famed for its bakers. Taddeucci is home to the buccellato — a sweet, dense, spiced-bread invented by Jacopo Taddeucci in 1881. Their historic home in Lucca’s main square is a great spot for morning caffè.
Lucca is close to the wine area of Montecarlo. This small DOC growing area produces whites with a mineral bite, usually from a blend of Tuscan Trebbiano grapes with Semillon, Sauvignon, or Pinot Bianco.
Lucca’s elegant streets are an indie shopper’s paradise — and among the best places to shop with teenagers in Tuscany.
Via Fillungo snakes through the centre, splitting Lucca in two from north to south. It is Lucca’s swishest shopping lane, lined with jewellery stores, fashion boutiques, and cafes, many behind shopfronts with original “Liberty” (Art Nouveau) styling intact. Neighbouring streets, especially Via Buia, offer additional window-browsing heaven.
Enoteca Vanni is the place to stock up on Montecarlo DOC wine and Lucca’s refined DOP extra-virgin olive oil.
Every traveller is different, so there is no such thing as the “best” villa near Pisa or Lucca; only the best Pisa and Lucca holiday rental for you. When you contact Tuscany Now & More, you will talk to someone who has stayed at the villas which interest you. It’s our golden rule — and why we stick to a focused, specialist portfolio of around 139 handpicked villas.
Both city centres have more than enough for many visits, and varied daytrips are on the doorstep (see above). Florence, too, is just over an hour away by easy, direct train. (We do not recommend driving into Florence, but if you are determined, first read our guide to where to park in Florence.)
In Florence you will find even more sights, things to see and do, and places to shop. It is the regional capital. Florence has the Uffizi Gallery; Michelangelo’s “David”; Medici villas, palaces and tombs; Renaissance gardens; countless painted chapels and much more. (If you want to stay closer, we also offer around 30 luxury villas near Florence.)
For music lovers renting a villa in Tuscany, Lucca makes a perfect base. The birthplace of the composer Puccini has a museum and summer opera festival dedicated to him. For outdoorsy travellers, the nearby Garfagnana offers high-alpine hiking, spelunking and endless miles of chestnut-clad hillsides to explore.
Still undecided on your perfect Tuscany villa? Read our guide to choosing the right villa in Italy.
Spring temperatures are pleasant over most of Tuscany, including Pisa and Lucca. You should expect an average daytime high of 23℃ (73℉) and lows of 11℃ (51℉) overnight.
Summer is high season almost everywhere, including in Pisa and Lucca. The daytime temperature rises to an average high of 30℃ (86℉), with 17℃ (62℉) overnight typical. This is the ideal season for relaxing by your private pool, especially during the heat of the day.
June festivals are a big deal in Pisa. Lamps light up the Arno banks after dark for the Luminara di San Ranieri on the 16th, which celebrates the city’s patron saint. On the final weekend of June, teams from rival city quarters compete in a “push of war” on the Ponte di Mezzo bridge across the river, during the Gioco del Ponte.
An annual summer Puccini Festival airs the arias at a purpose-built outdoor arena beside Lake Massaciuccoli, a short drive from our Pisa and Lucca villas.
Despite cooler temperatures, autumn and winter are lots of fun. The sun shines most days, with an average daytime high of 13℃ (55℉) and overnight lows of 4℃ (39℉). Low season means you enjoy these two popular cities at your own pace, and easily find a table at sought-after restaurants, which are often closed through August (especially in Pisa). Another autumn bonus: over three weekends every November, San Miniato’s White Truffle Fair celebrates fungus foraging season.
If you are interested in learning more about what makes us different, you can read the Tuscany Now & More story.
Everyone renting a villa near Pisa or Lucca with Tuscany Now & More gets free, unlimited access to our renowned concierge service. If you want shopping stocked in your fridge on arrival, or a private chef to cook dinner for a special occasion, just ask. Making your holiday lettings extra-special is part of our service. While you are in Italy, our 24-hour ground staff are available by phone or WhatsApp.
Checking in & out
You should check in at your Pisa or Lucca holiday rental between 4pm and 7pm. We can accommodate different arrival times — just communicate this in advance to our office staff. Upon arrival, the villa owner or caretaker will inspect the property with you and demonstrate appliances, equipment and utilities.
Check-out is 10am on the last day of your holiday rental. The villa owner or caretaker will arrive at 9am to settle outstanding payments, if you have any. If you want to depart earlier, please let us know in advance.
Both the luxury villa and your private swimming pool will be cleaned prior to your arrival. Some holiday villas have additional cleaning and pool/garden maintenance scheduled during the week. Maid service included with vacation rentals involves cleaning and tidying, but does not cover making beds, kitchen cleaning, laundry or ironing. Extra services can be organised via our dedicated travel concierge team.
Bed linen & towels
Our Pisa and Lucca holiday rentals include bed linens, bathroom and swimming pool towels for all guests. These are provided weekly. Extra services and changes can be organised via our concierges.